1. Schedule time for both work and playWhen facing a month and a half of final projects and big exams, it is very important to stay organized. As you begin scheduling time to start research or hold group meetings for various projects, ensure that you are being reasonable in your demands for yourself. It is neither fair, nor really a good idea, to schedule something like six hours of work on a Sunday afternoon.
2. Plan aheadIf planning time for fun wasn't a clear enough indicator of how important scheduling is, now we can say as clearly as possible: plan ahead! Read through those final project instructions now and see what you can complete well ahead of time.
3. Ask for help when you need itIt is normal to feel stressed about final exams, essays, and research projects. Nevertheless, one of the best parts about being in school is that you can ask for help before you get overwhelmed. If you start on something early enough, you will have more time to ask trusted sources to edit or look over your work, as well as to help guide your next steps. If you are having difficulties handling all of the stress, or if you need extra time, many teachers are more amenable to giving you leeway if you approach them earlier rather than later. A midnight email the day before the project is due will not receive the same response as an in-person meeting a week or two before the deadline. Staying motivated through the end of the semester also means incentivizing yourself. Perhaps this means you can only buy your favorite candy or go catch a movie if you have a certain amount of work done – whatever makes sense for you personally. It also means prioritizing actions that will help keep you alert and healthy, like sleeping. As tempting as it may be to skip a few hours of sleep when things start to get overwhelming, this will only cause you to slow down and subsequently get less work done. Whatever steps you are taking to stay motivated, remember that there is always a support network in school through your teachers and guidance counselors if your commitments get too out of hand.
Andrea Deck is a professional tutor and contributing writer with Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.